advertisement
03 October 2011

Brain continues to develop beyond adolescence

Brain development doesn't stop in adolescence, but continues until people are well into their 20s, a new study says.

0

Brain development doesn't stop in adolescence, but continues until people are well into their 20s, a new study says.

The finding challenges a long-held belief that brain development is completed in the teen years.

For their study, the University of Alberta researchers used MRI to scan the brains of 103 healthy people, aged 5 to 32. Each volunteer was scanned at least twice.

The results showed that the brains of young adults were still developing wiring to the frontal lobe, which is involved in complex cognitive tasks such as inhibition, high-level functioning and attention.

Abundance of life experiences

This continued development of brain wiring may be due to the abundance of life experiences in young adulthood, such as going to college or university, starting a career, gaining independence, and developing new social and family relationships, the researchers suggested in a university news release.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The researchers also found that some people showed reduction in white matter integrity over time, an indication of brain degradation. They said this observation requires further study because it may help improve understanding of the link between psychiatric disorders and brain structure. Many psychiatric disorders develop in adolescence or young adulthood. - (HealthDay News, October 2011)

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health outlines brain changes that occur in the teen years.


(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

BrainNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

FYI »

When the flu turns deadly Why the flu makes you feel so miserable

Could a deadly flu strain hit SA this winter?

Following an intense flu season in the US and UK, should we be worried about our own upcoming flu season?

Alcohol and acne »

Dagga vs alcohol: Which is worse? SEE: Why you are drinking more alcohol than you realise

Does alcohol cause acne?

Some foods can be a trigger for acne, but what about alcohol? Dermatologist Dr Nerissa Moodley weighs in.